Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now supporting a controversial proposal that would give police officers the option to ticket, instead of arresting, people for having small amounts of marijuana in their possession.
“It’s not decriminalization,” said Emanuel. “It’s dealing with it in a different way and a different penalty.”
Emanuel changed his position on the issue after his administration looked at the amount of time used by police to chase and prosecute people suspected of using and possessing marijuana. The majority of these cases are thrown out of court in the end.
The issue is controversial because critics are viewing moves like this being “soft” on drug use. Chicago is the second largest city in the United States and has long had a significant problem with drug use and associated violence.